Job quality in Canada declining on all fronts, CIBC index shows

Job quality in Canada has sunk to its lowest level in more than two decades, analysis released Thursday says.

An employment quality index compiled by CIBC that tracks part-time versus full-time work, paid versus self-employment and compensation trends, has fallen to its lowest level on record, according to a report by Benjamin Tal, the bank’s deputy chief economist. Data for the index go back to 1989.

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Self-regulating markets were basically created with government intervention. It was a political project. Certain assumptions of how these things work just aren’t true. People don’t do wage labor if they have any choice, historically, for example. So in order to get a docile labor force, you have to create police and a large apparatus to ensure that the people you kick off the land actually will get the kinds of jobs you want them to…this is the very beginning of creating a market. Basically, we assume that market relations are natural, but you need a huge institutional structure to make people behave the way that economists say they are ‘supposed’ to behave.
Gervasi: “Choices are not made randomly. They are socially controlled, and reflect the cultural model from which they are produced. We neither produce nor consume just any product: the product must have some meaning in relation to a system of values.” This leads to a perspective on consumption in terms of integration: “The goal of the economy is not the maximization of production for the purposes of the individual, but the maximization of production in relation to society’s value system” (Parsons). Similarly, Duesenbury will claim that the only choice is, in fact, varying one’s possessions according to one’s position in the social hierarchy. In effect, the differences in choice from one society to another, and the similarity of choices within a society, compels us to view consumer behavior as a social phenomenon. The economist’s notion of “rational” choice has been changed into the model of choice as conformity… Needs are not so much directed at objects, but at values. And the satisfaction of needs primarily expresses an adherence to these values. The fundamental, unconscious, and automatic choice of the consumer is to accept the life-style of a particular society (no longer therefore a real choice: the theory of autonomy and sovereignty of the consumer is thus refuted).

Singapore has retained its position as the world’s most expensive city, according to research by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

The top five most expensive cities in the world remain unchanged from a year earlier and include, in descending order, Paris, Oslo, Zurich and Sydney.

The EIU’s survey comprises 133 cities worldwide and uses New York as a base.

It compares the cost of more than 160 services and products including food, clothing and utility bills.

Singapore was found to be 11% more expensive than New York for basic groceries.

And together with Seoul, it was found to be the most expensive place in the world for clothes, “with prices 50% higher than New York”, the EIU said.

"Most significantly, Singapore’s complex Certificate of Entitlement system makes car prices excessive, with Singaporean transport costs almost three times higher than in New York."

The information gathered for the survey is designed to be used online as a way to calculate the cost of relocating and living for expatriates and business travellers.

Some Economists Really Want Vermont to Enact Single-Payer Public Healthcare

"As economists, we understand that universal, publicly financed health care is not only economically feasible but highly preferable to a fragmented market-based insurance system," the letter reads. "Health care is not a service that follows standard market rules; it should be provided as a public good. Evidence from around the world demonstrates that publicly financed health care systems result in improved health outcomes, lower costs and greater equity."

The Economist - May 10th - 16th, 2014

After SHIELD turns out to be mostly HYDRA, public opinion of global intelligence agencies is at an all time low. Cue the mud-slinging.

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basically, what confessions of an economic hitman is about. i read this book years ago, and i find it hard to argue that this not close to what is happening in the world. this clip is made by the renegade economist, who are also behind the four horsemen feature film.


I’m sure that it’s true that adding 10% more workers to London and letting them live like factory hens would make London’s corporations more profitable. Londoners may even acquire more tablet computers and smart phones. Yet our lives would be worse! Already the definition of a kitchen in a flat in Hackney is a line of cupboards down the side of the living room. Just how many times can they divide up these beautiful old houses into smaller and smaller boxes?

The mistake that these economists make is to become totally business centric. Their analysis stops at the profits of business and they fail to follow the process through to ensure that it benefits the population as a whole.

It is notable that the venerable economists who wrote the letter to Mr. Osbourne uttered not a squeak about the corporate profits which are being  filched away overseas to avoid paying tax as was reported in the same edition of the FT. Surely that too is “deeply damaging to the competitiveness of our science and research sectors and the wider economy”.

 On Tuesday, January 14, the Economic Policy Institute released an open letter to President Barack Obama and the leaders of Congress, urging the federal government to raise the minimum wage. The letter was signed by 75 leading economists – including seven Nobel laureates – and backed a plan sponsored by two democratic Congressmen. 

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